Free Stamp


This file appears in: 200 Public Square
Free Stamp

Commissioned by Sohio to be placed at their headquarters on Cleveland's Public Square, the Free Stamp was designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The 75,000 pound aluminum and steel replica of a hand stamp was intended to stand upright, complimenting the Soldiers and Sailors monument, with the word "FREE" facing the ground.

Completed following the takeover of Sohio by British Petroleum America, the corporation's new executives decided against placing the piece of public art outside of the headquarters. The sculpture would sit in over eighty pieces at a warehouse in Indiana for three years as the future location of the monument was disputed by BP America, its designers, and Cleveland's City Council. BP America would eventually donate the work to the City of Cleveland, and a site was agreed upon to the east of City Hall at Willard Park. On the direction of the sculptors, the piece was reoriented to lay on its side - angled so that the "FREE" stamp points towards the corporate offices on the 23rd floor of the BP building.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University Special Collections


This file appears in: 200 Public Square